History of the City of Marietta Pension

The City of Marietta's pension originated February 12, 1955, with the council passing Ordinance 1307 that established employee benefits under Federal Old Age and Survivors Insurance (Social Security) through the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia.

A charter amendment approved March 13, 1957, established a pension fund for policemen and firemen.

A council motion from August 13, 1966, created two pension plans with the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company retroactive to January 1, 1966. Plan I was for general employees and policewomen, with a Pension Board consisting of the City Manager, the Director of Public Works, and the Electrical Engineer. Plan II was for policemen and firemen, with a Pension Board consisting of the City Manager, the Police Chief, and the Fire Chief.

On September 20, 1973, the council passed Ordinance 3042 that established the City’s retirement plan with the Joint Municipal Employees Retirement System (JMERS) [now known as the Georgia Municipal Employee Benefit System (GMEBS)] effective November 1, 1973. This plan completely replaced the ones with the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company, and also established a more formalized Pension Committee consisting of the City Manager, two Council Members, the City Attorney (later removed from the Committee via Ordinance 3662 on February 13, 1980), a member of the Police Department, a member of the Fire Department, and two general employees. The Pension Committee had the primary responsibility of coordinating benefits with the JMERS Board of Trustees. 
On December 10, 1980, the council passed Resolution 15-353A which authorized the Mayor to terminate the trust agreement and pension contract with JMERS and execute a new contract with Aetna Life and Casualty.

On December 30, 1980, the council passed four major pension ordinances:
  • Ordinance 3738 redesignated the Pension Committee as the Pension Board, adding two general employees to the makeup to allow for nine members.
  • Ordinance 3739 established the General Pension with Aetna Life and Casualty effective November 1, 1973, but restructured as of July 1, 1980 (superseded by Ordinance 3752 on February 11, 1981).
  • Ordinance 3740 withdrew the City from JMERS (superseded by Ordinance 3753 on February 11, 1981).
  • Ordinance 3741 withdrew the City from Social Security as initially established with Ordinance 1307 and established a Supplemental Pension with Aetna Life and Casualty effective January 1, 1981.
After the passage of these ordinances, the Pension Board assumed the function of trustees of the pension, retirement, and disability plans.
On February 8, 1984, the council created a new retirement plan via passage of Ordinance 4022 that was effective January 1, 1984.

On February 11, 1987, the council created the current Consolidated Retirement Plan via passage of Ordinance 4532 that simplified provisions for plan participants and removed distinctions between public safety employees and general employees. The Consolidated Retirement Plan currently covers any employee from that time period who elected to transfer via a special election period as well as all new hires on or after March 1, 1987, the effective date of the plan. A second special election period was allowed in 1999 after the council passed Ordinance 5921 on November 11, 1998.

The council closed the general employee portion of the 4022 plan via passage of Ordinance 6064 on November 10, 1999.

On June 30, 2000, the council passed Ordinance 6142 that discharged the Pension Board of its trustee and record keeper duties related to the Supplemental Pension and, on July 1, 2000, turned those duties over to a professional pension management company that is supervised and directed by the Board.  

Ordinance 7983, effective October 1, 2016, dictated that the two Council Members on the Pension Board are the chairpersons of the Personnel and Insurance Committee and the Finance and Investments Committee. The other members of the board are the City Manager or his designee, four General Employee representatives, a sworn member of the Police Department, and a sworn member of the Fire Department. The chiefs of the respective departments are ex officio members who vote in the absence of their department's representative. As per Ordinance 8078, the City Manager or his designee, the Police Chief, and the Fire Chief must be appointed by the City Council. Additionally, the General Employee and Public Safety Employee representatives are nominated via election by their respective populations for three-year terms, and must also appointed by the City Council.